HÀ NỘI – Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has approved disciplinary measures on four former leaders of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) and the central province of Hà Tĩnh, whose violations are linked to the serious environmental incident caused by Formosa Hà Tĩnh in the four central localities.
Nguyễn Minh Quang, former MoNRE Minister in 2011-2016, received warnings, while Nguyễn Thái Lai and Bùi Cách Tuyển were stripped of the title of former MoNRE deputy ministers for 2011-2015.
The PM also decided to strip Võ Kim Cự of the position of former Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee of Hà Tĩnh province in 2005-2010 and former Chairman of the Hà Tĩnh People’s Committee in 2010-2015.
The mass fish deaths were first reported on April 6, 2016 when a large number of fish washed ashore in Hà Tĩnh province. The incident also occurred in Quảng Bình, Quảng Trị and Thừa Thiên-Huế.
About 70 tonnes of dead fish were found in the four provinces and Thừa Thiên -Huế alone reported 35 tonnes of farm-raised fish had died.
The pollution affected more than 260,000 people who earned their living from the sea.
Wastewater discharged from Formosa polluted more than 200 kilometres of coastline, devastating the marine environment and local economies of those provinces, which largely rely on fishing and tourism.
In June last year, Formosa accepted responsibility for the incident and pledged US$500 million in compensation for affected fishermen, households and organisations.-VNS